In March, a magnitude 9.0 undersea megathrust earthquake, now known as the Great East Japan Earthquake, hit Japan. One of the five most powerful earthquakes in the world overall since modern record-keeping began, the quake created a tsunami, killed more than 15,000, destroyed billions worth of infrastructure and caused a number of nuclear accidents.
On Sunday, a strong 6.4-magnitude earthquake struck near the coast of Indonesia’s Papua province. There were no immediate reports of damage or tsunami warnings issued.
Aside from Indonesia, during the past week moderate to strong earthquakes have hit Japan; nations in the Pacific like Fiji; Latin American countries like Chile and Argentina; Alaska in the United States; and even Antartica.
The Irish Weather Online reported that 2011 is on target to record the largest number of earthquakes in a single year for at least 12 years.
According to the U.S. Geological Survey, earthquakes with magnitude of at least 5.5 that have hit during the past week include:
* June 20. A strong 6.5 magnitude earthquake struck the Antofagasta region of Chile Monday afternoon.
* June 21. A 6.1 magnitude quake hit Santa Cruz Islands
* June 22. A magnitude 6.7 quake struck off the coast of Honshu, Japan, prompting authorities to issue a tsunami alert for the northeast of the country. A series of large tremors measuring greater than 5 have been recorded since the quake.
* June 23. A 7.2 magnitude earthquake hit the sparsely populated Fox Islands region of the Aleutian Islands in Alaska, USA. The quake hit just two days after a 5.1 magnitude earthquake hit the Rat Islands region.
* June 24. A 6.2 magnitude earthquake struck The Solomon Islands in the south-western Pacific Ocean. It was the third strong earthquake to hit the region during the week.
* June 24. A 6.3 quake off the Santa Cruz Islands struck.
* June 24. A 5.6 quake off Hokkaido, Japan Region, struck.
* June 25. A 5.7 magnitude quake off the south of the Fiji Islands struck.
* June 26. A strong 6.4-magnitude earthquake struck near the coast of Indonesia’s Papua province. The quake struck at a depth of 36 kilometers, 161 km from Enarotali, at 9:16 p.m.